Self Care 2: How time management can become a form of self care
Do you take enough time for self care?
So often self care gets put on the back burner because our lives are just frantic -- stuffed with event after event. Obligations that you, your family, your friends have jammed onto your overflowing schedule prevent you from having enough time to take care of you. How would it affect your life if your pace was just a bit slower? Would it be easier to make a little time for yourself?
When was the last time you took a few minutes in the morning with a nice calming cup of tea and a silent gaze out into the back yard? Would just a little time to center yourself before the onslaught of the day help?
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What about the end of the day? Do you take time to process the events of the day? Do you digest them and appreciate your accomplishments? Do you release some of the stress of the day and put it in its place? Or, do you take your worries and stress to bed with you to chew on them while falling to sleep?
Where does the time go....?
If this is a question you ask yourself frequently, it might be helpful to do a time study to determine just where and how you are spending your days.
Start by keeping a schedule for a week to give you an objective view of all the chores and activities you cram into each day. To do this, merely carry a note card with you and every time you start a new activity, write down the time and the name of the activity. When you complete that activity write stop and the time. Then write the next activity and it's start time...and continue this throughout the day.
Save your notes until the end of a week, then sit down and analyze the lists you've made of each day of your week. What do you see ?
Mark all the items you really enjoyed and want to remember to repeat.
Mark the items that were definitely a waste of your time.
Mark the activities that can not be altered or eliminate.
Finally look to the following week with the goal of, at the minimum, working in time for you at the beginning and the end of each day. Hopefully longer, but even 5 minutes to clear your mind will help.
Then through grouping, consolidating, or eliminating activities that don't necessarily need to take as much time as you have allotted them, make time for an activity that will re-energize you. For example, maybe you could keep a running list and go to the grocery store only once per week rather than shopping daily. This might save enough time for a special activity, such as a long walk to replenish your zest for life or a manicure or massage. Or just read a book you haven't had time nor energy to read.
The ways to use your time to take care of yourself are endless, but first you must carve out some non-guilt time for you.
Implementing your plan...
It might cause an upset with your family or roommates, etc., if you suddenly start acting differently and going by a different schedule Be sure to let everyone know what you are doing and why.
Now that you have more time, we’ll look at possible self care activities to fill some of that time.